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September 12, 2008

Lefty Wonders if Overweening Contempt for Palin is Backfiring; Blogger Wonders What Overweening Actually Means
Bumped: A Lot More Here Than I Guessed

Here's the link.

Bumped. I'm bumping this because I didn't read it before linking it; I just wanted to know what "overweening" meant.

I just read it. It's... eye-opening.

The liberal writer here is not merely panicking. And not merely depressed.

She's also exhibiting some amount of thoughtful self-examination, which is incredibly rare in a liberal.

When a liberal actually questions herself and her own overweening sense of self-righteous superiority, Houston, we have a problem.

I’d planned to make attending the McCain/Palin event a silly sort of adventure. I’d invited a friend who has six kids to come with me. I figured funny things were bound to befall us in Palin-Land, where, collectively, we’d have eight children between us (a funny thought in and of itself.) A Harold and Kumar Escape from the Barracuda sort of storyline was the idea – until my friend, done in by one too many sleepless nights, declined to accompany me, and I had to venture off alone.

And, forced to make new friends on the spot, discovered that the Palin Phenomenon is no laughing matter.


“Palin Power” isn’t just about making hockey moms feel important. It’s not just about giving abortion rights opponents their due. It’s also, in obscure ways, about making yearnings come true — deep, inchoate desires about respect and service, hierarchy and family that have somehow been successfully projected onto the figure of this unlikely woman and have stuck.

For those of us who can’t tap into those yearnings, it seems the Palin faithful are blind – to the contradictions between her stated positions and the truth of the policies she espouses, to the contradictions between her ideology and their interests. But Jonathan Haidt, an associate professor of moral psychology at the University of Virginia, argues in an essay this month, “What Makes People Vote Republican?”, that it’s liberals, in fact, who are dangerously blind.

Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view. “Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering. Republicans are good at exploiting that anger,” he told me in a phone interview.

Perhaps that’s why the conservatives can so successfully get under liberals’ skin. And why liberals need to start working harder.

Ah, so one finally gets it. Yes, you're right. We do think like you. We do understand you. Maybe it's because we're better at looking at things from someone else's point of view -- or maybe it's because we can't avoid thinking like you, because the media offers us nothing but your positions, your assumptions, your worldview, your fears and your hopes, 24/7/365.

I think it's a bit of both, really. Liberals have nothing on even the most Church Lady-ish religious conservatives when it comes to smug self-righteousness and superciliousness.

Pretty amazing that Palinmania has provoked this. Palinexistentialcrisis!

The study mentioned is here. I had thought it might be a re-examination of liberal biases and claims to superiority, but from what I've read so far, it's not. It's really an attempt to answer the eternal mystery: "Are Republicans stupid or evil? And what can we do to understand these benighted troglodytes?"

I'll read on and let you know if there's anything here more interesting than that.

Here's the stuff I wrote about overweening, which is just silly.

More importantly, I just realized I technically do not know what overweening actually means. I've written it, God knows. I know how it's used. It's the word you put in front of "pride" or "hubris" or "arrogance." In my head I think I just say "overwhelming," because, you know, they have a lot of letters in common.

But what the hell does it actually mean, man? Honestly -- do you know, or do you just know sorta how to use it? Am I the only moron here?

Well, I finally looked it up, despite using it and hearing it since high school. Hint: Don't say "overweening presumptuousness" or "overweening arrogance."

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posted by Ace at 03:53 PM

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